Thanks to everyone who posted. After listening to everyone's input, here are some of my own thoughts (via my blog
We should design for ourselves more often.
Passionate designers place high expectations on their work and the products they create. Because consumers donâ€™t always expect great product experiences, sometimes we have to show them rather than listen to them. The best way to stay passionate about your work is to do what you think is right for the project. This wonâ€™t be the case with every project, but in my experience, when I trust my aesthetic compass Iâ€™m right more often than I think.
Aesthetics are an opportunity to connect with people on a cultural level.
The work of styling an object can range from matching room decor to representing iconic elements of culture. When aesthetics are used to represent culture, designers have the ability to connect with groups of people on a deeper level. Styling can be challenging when a product needs to be globally acceptable, but even this is achievable as we live in a global society.
Know your aesthetic identity and when you shouldnâ€™t use it.
Good designers usually know how to style products for their consumers, but sometimes we struggle. For example, Kaleidoscope recently took on a project to design for pets. Since Iâ€™m allergic, I donâ€™t understand the consumer or animal behaviors. Iâ€™m contributing ideas to this project, but looking to the pet owners to help choose the best directions. With projects like this, itâ€™s best to recruit an experienced team that can support itâ€™s needs and ensure itâ€™s success.